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Ten Immutable Sales Leadership Truths
in Recessionary Times

by Don McNamara

Are you feeling the pinch of the economic times?  It's pretty hard to avoid the news; everywhere you look it is not encouraging.

Having gone through a few economic downturns in my career, it's easy to recall exactly what we did to revive relationships and activity in order to capture every conceivable order that was available.

Here are Ten Immutable Sales Leadership Truths in Recessionary Times. You should make them part of every day ... from the moment you awake until turning out the lights at night.  Remember, you & your team are responsible for Attitude, Behavior, and Calling - The ABC's of Sales Success, as these are the things that can be controlled.  The state of the economy is outside your control. 

You and you alone are in charge, so make it happen.  And while you are at it, don't forget to remind your sales team to sell something to someone with money!

Sales Leadership Truths - The A, B, C's

Call on Your Customers

Never forget how you & your company got to its position in the first place.  It's because of your customers.  Call Avoidance and Call Reluctance are about Attitude.

Add the Personal Touch  

Listen to Your Customers - Stay Connected to Them. Customers always pay attention to companies who bring Important Messages & Information to them.

Stop Selling & Let the Customer Buy  

Contrary to what the sales books preach, let the customer tell you what they Want, Need and will pay money to Have.  Constantly Closing can be dangerous in Tough Times since the customer may believe the only thing you're interested in is an order.  Constantly in Closing Mode is about Behavior.

Keep a Positive Mental Image 

Avoid Self Speak Aimed at talking yourself Out of a Sale. Stay Away from Discouragement Fraternities & Sororities.  Crummy Behavior & Attitude are self-limiting and self-defeating.

Get Your Forecasting Model Ship-Shape  

Spend time revisiting your Qualification Metrics.  Accurate Forecasting comes from qualitative and quantitative evaluation about your sales opportunities.

Be an Invaluable Asset to Your Customers & Prospects 

Be Seen by Them as "the" GO-TO company and a Priceless Resource. Check Your Ego at the Door, as in Trying Times improper Attitude can kill a sale.

A Planned and Implemented Process for Prospecting Never Goes Away

Salespeople that fail to prospect fail to achieve.  Keep your focus on New Account Development. When the economy improves 'All the Boats Will Rise Together', but yours will be higher than your competition.  Prospecting is about Calling.

Take An Assertive Position with Your Sales Team

They are looking for Guidance and Leadership - Never, Ever Let Them Down.  Managers follow guidelines, Leaders Make Things Happen!  You can "drive" the business of sales, so your Attitude and Behavior are vital.

Get Back to Basics 

Refresh your sales team about them.  When Business is Brisk, the Fundamentals get forgotten. Now is the time to revitalize the sales success essentials.  The A, B, and C's are among the crucial determinants of sales success.

Do Everything Humanly Possible to Keep Your Staff Intact 

Trimming in other areas may deliver the same savings as a headcount reduction. This is the time to eliminate programs and activities that have yielded questionable results.  Be more expense control aware e.g. ensure field trips have multiple sales calls and customer visitations attached to them.  And don't be anxious about canceling a trip that does not have a solid business purpose behind it.

Let us know what you think. We are always interested in hearing from you.


The Author

Don McNamara

Don McNamara is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and is President of Heritage Associates, Inc. . Heritage Associates is a full service sales management consulting, training and coaching company.

Don also speaks and writes on the art and science of superior sales management and top sales performance.  He is the award-winning author of "Visionary Sales Leadership." With over 30 years sales experience from the field level to executive sales management, in his career he has been an individual contributor, corporate sales training manager, regional manager, national sales manager and vice president of sales.  Don is a member of the Institute of Management Consultants, an Adjunct Professor at Concordia University in the MBA program, a Mentor at the Paul Merage School of Business at University of California Irvine.  He also serves in the Sponsorship Committee at the Forum for Corporate Directors.

For a free e-newsletter contact Don McNamara at or by phone (949) 230-4363.

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Copyright 2009 by Don McNamara. All rights reserved.

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